Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

The Pk Zone: A Phenomenological Study [1]

Academic journal article The Journal of Parapsychology

The Pk Zone: A Phenomenological Study [1]

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: There has been a recent increase in qualitative research to help uncover process oriented aspects of performing psi. Informal reports (Isaacs, 1992; Stanford, 1977/1986) and descriptive analyses (Gissurarson, 1997) have revealed a number of factors that seem to correlate with PK performance. This study used the phenomenological method to analyze the spontaneous and intentional experiences of eight participants to try to better understand its meaning and nature. There appears to be one core PK experience, which is far more fluid than normal experience. Rather than discrete elements, there are constituents that form a fluid pattern, organic in quality. Fifteen constituents were found for all PK experiences (with 2 more that appear in intentional PK). They are: 1) the presence of an altered state of consciousness; 2) a sense of connection to the target or other people that involves a transcendent level of interconnectedness; 3) a feeling of dissociation from the individual ego identity; 4) suspension o f the intellect; 5) the presence of playfulness and/or peak levels of emotion; 6) a sense of energy, that may have a transcendent quality; 7) the physical state may contribute to, and reflect, PK energy; 8) awareness is focused; 9) release of effort/attention; 10) an altered sense of time; 11) investment; 12) openness to the experience; 13) impact on feelings and/or worldview; 14) a sense of "knowing"; and 15) overlap with ESP. With intentional PK there are also: 16) guiding the process; and 17) trusting the process. This paper briefly reviews some of the more important aspects of these constituents, and how it might impact on our understanding of PK and future research.

Recent years have seen an increase in interest in qualitative research to help uncover process oriented aspects of performing psi. Gissurarson (1992) has suggested that "future research might consider reporting and exploring more systematically what subjects claim to do and experience while trying to use their PR" (p. 332). Informal reports (Isaacs, 1992; Stanford, 1977/1986) and descriptive analyses (Gissurarson, 1997) have previously revealed a number of factors that seem to correlate with PK performance, but what those factors mean, and how they might relate to each other, remain unclear.

Phenomenology would seem to be a particularly effective tool for revealing the qualitative aspects of PK. It was originally developed as a means of describing the essential features, or themes, that characterize human experience. Phenomenological research methodology, including its usual mode of data analysis, is understood and widely accepted (von Eckartsberg, 1998). Phenomenological methods have previously been used to successfully elucidate the meaning of a number of exceptional human performance experiences, such as occur in sports, and trance mediumship (Alessi, 1994; Barrett, 1996; Murphy & White, 1995). This study, therefore, chose to use Giorgi's (1985) phenomenological method to analyze the spontaneous and intentional experiences of eight participants to try to better understand the overall meaning of the PK experience.

METHOD

The participants were eight male and female English-speaking and -writing adults who had experienced at least one memorable psychokinetic event that they apparently caused and who were able to articulate that experience. Some careful thought was taken into who would be asked to participate, in order to try to ensure that a wide range of experiences were represented. The first eight participants who agreed to the study were accepted (two individuals who were asked refused). All participants satisfied one or more of the following modes of having had their PK experience or ability "verified": witnessing by another, reputable person; their PK having been lab/experimentally ascertained (which probably also includes witnessing at labs such as PEAR, SRI, and the ASPR under Dr. Osis); measurement, detection, recording of their PK effect by someone/someplace (like prior item); or, weaker, having a general reputation as a successful PK performer. …

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